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Introduction to Contract Law


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Introduction to Contract Law

  2. 2. What is a Contract ? <ul><li>A legally binding agreement. In other words… </li></ul><ul><li>“ A promise or set of promises which the law will enforce”. </li></ul><ul><li>The agreement will create rights and obligations that may be enforced in the courts. </li></ul><ul><li>The normal method of enforcement is an action for damages for breach of contract, though in some cases the court may order performance by the party in default. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Notion of Free Contract <ul><li>The parties must have entered into the agreement freely. </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of the agreement must not be illegal or contrary to public policy. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Form of Contracts <ul><li>Written </li></ul><ul><li>Oral </li></ul><ul><li>Partly oral and written </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2 classes of Contract <ul><li>Contracts by Deed </li></ul><ul><li>A deed is a formal legal document signed, witnessed and delivered to effect a conveyance or transfer of property or to create a legal obligation. </li></ul><ul><li>Simple contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Simple contracts are informal contracts and may be made in any way – in writing, orally or they may be implied from conduct </li></ul>
  6. 6. Bilateral & Unilateral <ul><li>Bilateral contracts </li></ul><ul><li>A promise by one party in exchanged for a promise by another party </li></ul><ul><li>A one to one contract </li></ul><ul><li>Example : Sale of goods contract </li></ul><ul><li>The Buyer promises to pay the price </li></ul><ul><li>The Seller promises to deliver the goods </li></ul>Offeror The person who make the offer Offeree The person to whom the contract was made
  7. 7. Unilateral contracts <ul><li>A promise by one party in exchanged for an action by another party </li></ul><ul><li>A one to all contract </li></ul>Example : X promises a reward to anyone who will find his lost wallet. X bound himself to the promise, but no one is bound to search for the lost wallet. But if Y, having seen the offer, recovers the wallet and returns it, he is entitled to the reward. 1 Offeror Many Offerees
  8. 8. Essential elements of a Contract <ul><li>1) Agreement </li></ul><ul><li>One party make the offer, another party accepts the offer and both achieve consensus ad idem (meeting of the minds) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Consideration </li></ul><ul><li>Both parties must have provided consideration, ie, each side must promise to give or do something for the other. </li></ul><ul><li>3) Intention to create legal relations </li></ul><ul><li>The parties must have intended their agreement to have legal consequences. The law will not concern itself with purely domestic or social agreements. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>4) Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>The parties must be legally capable of entering into a contract. </li></ul><ul><li>5) Absence of Vitiating factors </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of factors that are going to invalidate a contract, ie : duress or undue influence, mistake, misrepresentation, illegality </li></ul>
  10. 10. Enforceability <ul><li>Void contracts </li></ul><ul><li>the whole transaction is regarded as a nullity, as though as there has been no contract between the parties. </li></ul><ul><li>Any goods or money obtained under the agreement must be returned. </li></ul><ul><li>Where items have been resold to a 3 rd party, they may be recovered by the original owner. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Voidable contracts </li></ul><ul><li>A voidable contract will operates as a valid contract unless and until one of the parties takes steps to avoid it. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything obtained under the contract must be returned, insofar as this is possible. </li></ul><ul><li>If goods have been resold before the contract was avoided, the original owner will not be able to reclaim them. </li></ul>
  12. 12. End